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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in James' LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, December 19th, 2007
10:14 pm
Is this the end of our series....of events?
Hi. So,  I know it's been a long time and...well...there's someone else.

My new page.

We've had a good time. And this might not be the end. I'll still visit occasionally. 
Monday, June 18th, 2007
12:03 am
Seriously, guys.
Download this.
Enjoy it.
Then thank me later.

Rocky Votolato - Mix Tapes/Cell Mates
Sunday, June 17th, 2007
12:19 am
Ok, so, we were on the way back from my mother-in-law's house and Killing In the Name by Rage Against the Machine came on and I started thinking about how much I like that album cover and then I started thinking about all the album covers I like and so I thought I'd talk about them here. Ahem.
Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
9:47 pm

As many of you know, I'm a chemist. Some of you might not know that I work with explosives. That's right. I test soil and water samples for various kinds of explosives and explosive residue. When I'm telling people about my job, I usually take the opportunity at this point to say that this is where my job stops being interesting. Mostly what I do at work is paper clip papers together to make reports for the client. I have become quite the adept paper-clipper. 

The Offspring - Nitro(Youth Energy)
Bush - Glycerine

Luckily, I have discovered that I can listen to my iPod pretty much all day long and that has been the saving grace of this job. I've found that there are certain artists/albums I listen to when I need to relax. And there are certain artists/albums I listen to when I need to blow off steam (and I frequently do).

The album that I instinctively turn to to calm myself down is Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. It's soothing and soaring and everything a body needs to let it all flow by. I also like Iron & Wine's Our Endless Numbered Days and pretty much anything by Sufjan Stevens.

Iron & Wine - Sodom, South Georgia

For steam-blowing, nothing works better than Rise Against's Revolutions Per Minute, though Minor Threat, Strung Out, and the Descendents also come in handy.

Rise Against - Dead Ringer
Descendents - Kabuki Girl

I'd be interested to find out what other people listen to for these types of situation.

Sunday, June 10th, 2007
2:38 pm
A post with Links!

Ok. So instead of joining yet another blogging website that I'll start out trying to figure out and then just let fall by the wayside, I'm going to redevote myself to this one and hopefully, with all the pressure that the added traffic that I might theoretically have from the Contrast Podcast crowd, I'll keep it up. So, that's what I'm going to start with. We'll see how it goes.

But to be honest, the real reason I'm doing this is because I love blogs where there are mp3's posted that somehow relate to the entry, but aren't actually mentioned in it anywhere.

Like the track I used to test out the file upload site I'm now using:

Beastie Boys - Just a Test

So, yeah. My cards are on the table. Let's see if I can follow through.

Current Mood: amused
Saturday, June 9th, 2007
10:18 am

So I'd like some thoughts on getting one of those nifty little blogspot blogs. What are the perks? Is it vastly different from livejournal. All the cool kids have one, it seems. Ahem. Except for all the cool kids who are reading this because they only have a livejournal. They're ESPECIALLY cool. I'm gonna get jumped, aren't I.

Monday, February 12th, 2007
10:37 pm

Well, people sure do hate George W.

The Dixie Chicks kicked some ass at the Grammy's and I say good for them. And who knew that Nathan Petrelli from Heroes was married to the lead singer. I stand corrected on my predictions. I guess women CAN make good music ;-)

In other news: I thought Xtina did a pretty good version of "It's a man's, man's, man's, man's world". I love that song.
Also: did anyone watch the show itself? During Natalie Cole and Ornette Coleman's part, it was hilarious to see the usher shoo a seat holder away for Carrie Underwood to sit down just to have her win seconds later. That guy (or girl) was probably angry. Hahaha. And also, i liked the Eagles covers. The Rascal Flatts guy looks like a fat Chris-from-Less-than-jake-stupid-wouldn't-play-scott-farcas-may-he-rot-in-hell. or, CFLTJSWPSFMHRIH for short, or "Chris" for ultra-short.

Night everybody!

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007
9:27 pm
Place your bets!

Ok, so as you may or may not know, I'm a huge geek.

With the Grammy's coming up, I've decided to totally geek out and I started to do some research. I looked up all the Album of the Year nominees (including the winners) since 1983's awards (in 1984) and found stats for 4 categories:

Average track length
Number of tracks
Number of songs that reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100
Peak position on the Billboard 200 album chart.

Here's what I found.

The average Average Track Length was 4:33. 18/23 of the winners peaked at #1. 10/23 winners had at least 1 #1 song. 7/23 had at least 2.

What does this tell us. Well, the fact that most of the winners peaked at #1 shouldn't be surprising. It would be interesting to see what they had peaked at before the awards were given. 

I think it's interesting that more hit singles doesn't necessarily convert to a Grammy win. Now, there were definitely some winners that maybe shouldn't have won. (the awards for 2000 had Steely Dan beating Eminem, Beck (Midnite Vultures), Radiohead (Kid A), and Paul Simon (You're the One). Ok, so really, it had Steely Dan beating Beck and Radiohead. I mean the album was ok, but it wasn't the best album of that year, in my opinion)

This brings up another factor that I've noted. The "Return to Form" power. When an artist goes into a slump and then releases a good album, they definitely have a shot. Bob Dylan did it, Santana did it, Ray Charles did it.

So what does this superficial look mean for this year? Before i give my picks, let me just say that i understand that there are no "rules" that the judges are going to stick to, but i like to think that this kind of research can give me an edge:)

I think that the Red Hot Chili Peppers will win this year. They have the Return to Form edge, Stadium Arcadium is a great album, the album has hit number one, and there have been no #1 songs.

The closest contender is going to be Justin Timberlake. His album hit #1 and, although he has two #1 songs already, the only other album that has hit number 1 is the Dixie Chicks and I think the only thing they have going for them is the political edge and I don't think it will be enough. A female act hasn't won since Norah Jones four years ago and I don't think one will win this year.

So we'll see how I do. The Grammy's are on CBS on Sunday night. <Accepts bag of cash.>

Thursday, January 18th, 2007
10:13 pm
I'm half the man I used to be
So i'm looking at the celebrity playlists of the american idol winners tonight. That's right. That's the kind of thing i spend my evenings doing. And this guy Bo Bice likes this soundgarden song "outshined"

let me back up.

I have such trouble spending iTunes gift certificates. I never want to buy whole albums, because what if i want the albums in real life? So i've resorted to greatest hits albums, albums that i don't expect to want to see the liner notes, and songs that i like but i don't expect to like the rest of the album. and tonight i discovered a new category.

songs that remind me of listening to DC101 in middle and high school. bands like soundgarden, STP, sponge, spacehog, and the toadies. it's weird that most of the bands that i just listed start with s. oh! cracker. i mean, these are bands that i don't think i need the cd from them, but i would like to hear the songs. i have an STP album and really the standout tracks are the tracks you would pick from the radio. which might make hardcore stp fans cringe (do hardcore stp fans exist?) but for me it's true. "sex type thing" finished on my iPod and i totally expected to hear the dc101 tag. man  i miss dc101. i just don't listen to the radio that much anymore. maybe i should. or maybe i should just buy the songs i miss:)

by the way does anyone have sponge - molly (sixteen candles)? i would have to buy the whole album to get that one on iTunes. yay! 
Saturday, January 6th, 2007
11:38 am
Ok, so today i'm talking to my mom on the phone and we're talking about how weird the weather is. And she starts scoffing at Global Warming. She says "It's not real, right?" And I froze. The idea of not believing in Global Warming shocked me. And the scary thing is that it's not like my mom's the only one. 

What's the point of not believing in Global Warming?

Is it because you don't want legislation? Like the clean air act? Can I get some thoughts on this?
Wednesday, December 20th, 2006
10:00 pm
I'm going to start an emo band called Bunny Sniffles. The debut record will be called "...And Out Come the Bunnies". That is all.
Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
7:10 pm
A Haiku That Demonstrates What I've Learned About Extradition
Today I went to
A neighbor's yard and I found
The bin and grabbed it
Monday, November 20th, 2006
11:46 pm
A Haiku That Pretty Much Sums Up the Facts I Have to Accept
The autumn wind blew.
Our recycling bin has flown
South for the winter. 

<words like "our" really betray an accent that a person may or may not have developed with regards to how many syllables they count it as. Sources have been consulted for previous haikus and it has been discovered that these words have dipthongs and could theoretically be counted as one and a half syllables. however, for the purposes of this haiku and my including Kristen (and Maddy, if you like) in the ownership of the recycling (which counts as three syllables, if there was a question about that) bin, it will count as having one.>
Wednesday, November 15th, 2006
9:21 pm
So I came up with a pretty fun (fun for me, so be warned. Pretty much this means no one will think this is fun except for Riley) playlist logorithm (i'm not trying to use the nerdiest words possible. it's just happening) on my drive home:

We've all (again, possibly just riley and i) made the alphabet mix where the song starts with letters from the alphabet in order. But i was listening to Rx Bandits - Analog Boy and thought what if you made the alphabet using as few songs as possible. "But James," you're saying, "doesn't there have to be 26 songs?" Au contraire, mon frere (or frerette). Here's my playlist. I used the first song that worked that came up and if there wasn't a song that worked for two letters, i used the first one word song that worked for that letter and I only used artists once. I made up that rule after Santana appeared twice.  If that doesn't make sense (and it probably doesn't), let me try to explain by posting my playlist:

1. Santana - Africa Bamba
2. Hi-Standard - California Dreaming
3. Black Sabbath - Electric Funeral
4. Barenaked Ladies - Go Home
5. Man Or Astro-man? - Interplanet Janet
6. Ben Folds - Kalamazoo
7. Nine Inch Nails - La Mer
8. Lustre - Nice Overalls
9. Jimmy Eat World - Pain
10. At The Drive-In - Quarantined
11. R.E.M. - Radio Song
12. Taking Back Sunday - The Union
13. Get Up Kids - Valentine
14. Blink-182 - Waggy
15. System of a Down - X
16. U2 - Yahweh
17. Smashing Pumpkins - Zero

So I did it in 17 songs.  I'm sure it's possible to do it in less. I'll be very impressed if someone beats me OR if someone gets a three word song that works for three letters. I couldn't find any in mine (that i know of). So there's that. Have a good day, everyone!

Current Mood: accomplished
Tuesday, October 31st, 2006
10:16 pm
So, here's my second update in a month. How weird is this?

I'm finishing up the new My Chemical Romance cd and I have mixed feelings about it. In some parts, it rocks pretty hard and they have some neat guitar solos and they're exploring different genres and stuff. But on other parts, i totally zone out and don't really notice that i'm still listening to music. Maybe this is just how a cd is at first.

In keepin with the fact that I'm updating on Halloween, I must say that I'm reading the book The Historian. And it's a really pleasurable vampire book. I can see why it got compared to the Da Vinci code. It's like the Da Vinci code and Jesus is Dracula and Tom Hanks is a Woman. So it's partly exactly the same! OHHH snap Tom Hanks. You were served! By me! And then you left a good tip!
Friday, October 27th, 2006
10:20 pm
So, I really like the show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I think it's one of the best shows that's on tv right now and I would recommend it to you. Yes you.

It's been a long time since I've really written about my life. I now work at GPL Labs in Frederick, MD. I'm working in the HPLC (High Pressure (or Performance) Liquid Chromatography) department and the department's actually called Explosives since that's what we're analyzing for. It's pretty fun. Pretty frustrating sometimes, too, though. I suppose that's work.

Kristen's still a third grade teacher and that's going well. It's a tough job but she's a natural. Of course, she's in Ashburn and many of my friends will know what kind of parent often comes with that. So sometimes it's challenging.

In other news, my Dad is finally being published! He wrote a chapbook (a poetry version of an EP, to my understanding) loosely (how the hell do you spell that?) centered around the Grand Canyon and it's really good and I'm really excited for him. I want to be published someday too and this gives me hope that it can happen.

Ok. That's a pretty good update. Thanks. I'm gonna try to do this more.
Wednesday, October 4th, 2006
9:56 pm
Does the phrase "Drive it like you stole it" mean drive really fast or drive incredibly responsibly so as not to arouse suspicion from law enforcement officials?

Also, LOST premieres tonight. And it's DVR'ing right now. I wonder when I'll watch it. DVR makes me lazy.

You should watch HEROES.

Seriously though, if I was driving a car like I had stolen it, I would be 5 mph under the speed limit and signaling with my turn signals as well as my hand, etc.

Thursday, September 7th, 2006
8:55 pm
Facebook (yes, i know everyone is weighing in on this)
Ok, I just don't understand what the big deal is. It only displays what you put into it and it only displays it to your friends. You pick your friends...right? So it only displays what you pick to who you pick.

Honestly, I don't understand the big hubbub. It was always stalker-y. That's why it was so popular! Maybe if I used it more I would care more.... thoughts anyone?
Tuesday, August 8th, 2006
12:44 am
an "Update"
So, I haven't updated this in ages. With an actual update, that is.

I'm working on a project. I want to read all of the Pulitzer (Fiction) winners since I was born, watch all the Best Picture winners since i was born, and hear all the Album of the Year winners since I was born. So I've been working on that.

I also got a new car tonight! It's the third car that's been "mine" in my life. It's a Burgundy Hyundai Santa Fe.

And I got a job today! It only lasts until the end of September but they tell me they'll pay me in real American dollars!

So, that's it for now. Kristen and I are finishing setting up the house and gearing up for our jobs to start next week.

How are you?
Thursday, July 20th, 2006
1:48 am
Round 4!
The long awaited Round 4 begins!

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers vs The Beatles

2. The Postal Service vs Green Day

It's getting exciting! Oh boy!
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